Amid the deepening crisis in Maharashtra’s government, with a rebel group of more than 40 Shiv Sena MLAs camping in a five-star hotel on the outskirts of Guwahati, while at home the government of Maha Vikas Aghadi gasps, the chief minister gasps of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma has clearly denied that the state has anything to do with one of the biggest political developments of this week.
“There are many good hotels in Assam, anyone can come and stay there… there is no problem with that. I don’t know if Maharashtra MLAs will stay in Assam. MLAs from other states can also come and stay in Assam,” Sarma told news agency ANI.
The rebel camp led by Sena MLA, Eknath Shinde, has already reached the critical number of 37 needed to split the party in the assembly without violating the anti-defectors law. With two more Sena MLAs, he will have 39. His total strength is now 42, including independent MLAs.
Shinde’s camp even posted images of the hotel in Guwahati to show that he has 42 MLAs by his side.
In a last-ditch effort to save the ruling Maharashtra alliance, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s team has decided to demand the disqualification of 17 MLAs. Therefore, Team Thackeray has appealed to the Vice-Chairman of Maharashtra Assembly to disqualify 5 MLAs first.
However, the Sena should not move to disqualify more than 17, as that would cut by half, which would benefit the BJP. It appears that Sena is disqualifying a few rebels to discourage the rest from holding elections, forcing them to return.
With inputs from NDTV, ANI